A List of Best Practices When It Comes To Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon buyers can submit written or video reviews for items listed on Amazon.com. Amazon openly encourages people to share their opinions, both favorable and unfavorable on every product in their online catalog. Here is Amazon’s official stance on Product Reviews, “Helpful product reviews written by Amazon customers are the heart of Amazon.com, and we treasure the customers who work hard to write them.”
There is no hiding it. Amazon has worked hard over the years to get millions of customer reviews uploaded. These are useful tools for potential buyers to consider. They have even added features like Amazon Verified Purchase and allowing individuals reading the reviews to add input into a review being helpful or not. Amazon states that they review comments in the pursuit of a system that’s open, flexible and structured for anyone who wants to learn more from other customers about anything Amazon sells. These reviews can really tell the story of a product. For example, most people love this Incense Gift Set (B0016D4RQS):
Over time Amazon has built safe guards, both manual and automated, that remove reviews which violate their guidelines. They recently improved their detection of promotional reviews which resulted in the removal of thousands reviews, both new and old. While their enforcement has improved, their Customer Review Creation Guidelines really have not changed.
Customer Reviews are meant to give customers genuine product feedback from fellow shoppers. It appears that Amazon’s goal is to capture all the energy and enthusiasm (both favorable and critical) that customers have about a product while avoiding use of reviews to outright advertise, promote and especially mislead potential buyers. Amazon has a zero tolerance policy for any review designed to mislead or manipulate customers. Customer Reviews help customers learn more about the product or genre, hear the reasons behind your star rating, and ultimately decide if this is the right product for them or not. Personally, I rely on these reviews when making high dollar purchases.
While Amazon encourages reviewers to share their enthusiasm and experience, there is a fine line between that and the use of customer reviews as product promotion. Amazon does not allow anyone to write customer reviews as a form of promotion. If they find evidence that a customer was paid for a review, they will remove it immedately. If you have a direct or indirect financial interest in a product, or perceived to have a close personal relationship with an items seller, manufacturer, author or artist, Amazon will likely remove your review. Amazon does not allow authors to submit customer reviews on their own books even when they disclose their identity.
Below each review, you’ll find a question that asks “Was this review helpful to you?” – if you answer “no,” you can let the Amazon guard dogs know why the review is inappropriate. Amazon states that they will examine the review in question and take action if necessary. See the screen shot below:
To help illustrate, here are a few examples of reviews that Amazon does not allow:
- A product manufacturer posts a review of their own product, posing as an unbiased shopper
- A shopper, unhappy with her purchase, posts multiple negative reviews for the same product
- A customer posts a review in exchange for $5
- A customer posts a review of a game, in exchange for bonus in-game credits
- A family member of the product creator posts a five-star customer review to help boost sales
- A shopper posts a review of the product, after being promised a refund in exchange
- A seller posts negative reviews on his competitor’s product
- An artist posts a positive review on a peer’s album in exchange for receiving a positive review from them
If you think Amazon got it wrong and removed a customer review that they shouldn’t have, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and they will take another look. If you need a good laugh, click here are some of Amazon’s craziest and hilarious reviews.
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